Christie is one of the most recognized and provocative lawyers in Canada.
Doug Christie died on Monday at Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital at the age of 66. “I am heart-broken to say that Doug passed away this afternoon in Victoria Hospice,” his wife Keltie Zubko announced in a public statement. She said that Doug’s family was with him and were “able to say all that was in our hearts to say before he let go of the pain and suffering to leave us with the immense gifts of his love for us and the lessons of his life.”
I had difficulty understanding why he defended the people he did. Then I met him, spoke with him, watched him within the context of his legal work done for Paul and Zabeth Bayne as they tried for four years to recover their children from the Ministry of Children and Family Development of British Columbia, and my appreciation for the man began to develop. He represented the Baynes pro bono and that benevolence spoke volumes to me. I am sure that some of his motivation derived from his Roman Catholic convictions. I liked him. I am saddened by his death. The Bayne family is together today in large part because of his dedicated assistance to their campaign for justice.
• Terry Long, former leader of the Aryan Nations in Canada;
• Malcolm Ross of New Brunswick who, like Keegstra, was a teacher fired for anti-Semitic activity;
• Three alleged leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in Manitoba;
• Rudy Stanko of the World Church of the Creator;
• Tony McAleer after he was charged with broadcasting hate speech over the phone and online;
• John Ross Taylor of the Western Guard Party and Aryan Nations;
• Imre Finta who was alleged to be a Nazi war criminal and collaborator (see R. v. Finta);
• Doug Collins, a late newspaper columnist brought before the British Columbia Human Rights Commission for anti-Semitic and racist comments;
• Paul Fromm, head of the far-right "Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform" and "Canadians for Freedom of Expression", and participant in neo-Nazi and racist gatherings, who was fired from his job as a teacher for his political activity;
• Lady Jane Birdwood, a British follower of Oswald Mosley and distributor of hate propaganda;
• Wolfgang Droege of the Heritage Front;
• David Ahenakew, who acknowledged making anti-Semitic comments in a 2002 interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Controversy swirled about him because of these associations but Christie’s sense of justice demanded that he offer freedom of speech to even perceived enemies if you hoped to preserve free speech for yourself. But he suffered for his role in these cases, was accused of being a right-wing extremist, a Nazi, an anti-Semite, all of which he regarded as smear words which he claimed were inaccurate and unfair. Christie has always been careful not to publicly support the views of his clients, insisting his cases were about protecting the right to free speech. Windows in his home were broken until he boarded them shut. He described himself as ’Canada’s most prolific defender of free speech.“ ”It was principles of freedom that caused me to step off the beaten path,” wrote Christie.
That having been said, I respected him and I liked him.